Manassas VA Well Water Testing: New Private Well Owner Responsibilities

Manassas VA Well Water Test

If you have just purchased a new home with a private well in Manassas VA, well water testing is one of the new responsibilities you’ll have as a homeowner. You should have your well water tested when you first move in and annually, or if the taste, odor or color of the water changes. It’s best to have a licensed technician who understands proper sampling methods and utilizes certified laboratories for testing conduct the tests.

If the previous owner has not tested the well regularly, you may not be aware of a bacterial contamination. The technician will first conduct the most common test for coliform bacteria, is naturally occurring in soil and can be found on plants. While it is not harmful itself, one should not find this in a well-constructed and maintained well. If coliform bacteria are found, it does signal that other contaminants are likely present in the water.

How does bacteria get into your well water?

Bacteria may be in precipitation such as rain or snow. Usually it is filtered out when it enters the ground surface as it seeps through the soil. Some bacteria however have a long life and do not filter out.

The following situations allow it to pass through into the groundwater, which is the part of precipitation that becomes part of the water table:

  • Course or sandy soils, as well as shallow fractured bedrock, are porous and have permeability that holds water and allows it to pass through to wells.
  • Cracks or corrosion in well casings, where the casing terminates and how well it extends above the ground surface, improper sealing, and loose well caps can all allow bacteria into the well in Manassas, VA.
  • Well water testing may find bacteria from insects and rodents which may be brought into the well because of inadequate seals and caps.
  • Location of the well is too close to potential sources of contamination like septic tanks, which also age and can have issues related to installation.

If inspection indicates these conditions and coliform bacteria tests are positive, the next tests would explore whether there are more serious forms of contamination that could cause illness in healthy humans or animals. The biggest culprit being E.coli.

Testing for Escherichia coli (or E. coli), a fecal form of coliform bacteria, is routine after coliform bacteria is found. E.coli is often harmful to humans and animals because of the viruses, parasites and more serious bacteria found in fecal matter. It’s presence in the water can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and worse. If this is at all suspected to be in your well in Manassas VA, well water testing should be conducted and water should not be consumed until the source and the problem are eradicated.

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